AA: tell us a little about yourself and what you do?
Merj: My name is Merjem, I’m a Bosnian American living in the beautiful city of Chicago. At the age of 2, my parents moved us from the war-stricken country of Bosnia to the States. They made this big move to an unfamiliar land to provide their children with a future they could only dream of. And Alhamdulillah I’m grateful for this, not only have I have I been blessed with many opportunities but I’m also able to achieve my dream of becoming a nurse. Currently, I’m in my last year of nursing school and can’t wait to graduate InshAllah! My passion in life is to help others (as cliché as it may sound).
Many times in the hospital during clinical, I hear my patients say that I inspire them— but really— they inspire me. They inspire me to work harder and be a better version of myself each and every day. Being a covered girl in the healthcare industry is not easy, there’s a lot of bumps along the road and a lot of people who doubt you and your abilities. But I realized at one point that nursing is not about pills and charting. It’s about loving people when they are at their weakest moments. My goal is to care for and understand people in various stages of life, not only the healthcare profession but in all aspects of life.
AA: Why did you start your social media page/blog/business?
Merj: I started my Instagram page a while ago as a way to connect and create strong bonds with other Muslims sisters not only in my community but around the world as well. I wanted to broaden my perspective of life and experience new cultures, places, and foods through the screen of my phone. The purpose of my Instagram was not only to be able to express myself but also to learn and grow as an individual through virtual friendships that could potentially last a lifetime.
AA: What is your definition of modesty?
Merj: When I think of modesty, I’m often puzzled by the true meaning; I could spend hours and hours trying to find the perfect answer. That’s when I came to the realization that modesty can’t be pinpointed. Across the world, women experience modesty in their own ways. Hijab is one way to show modesty, but it’s not the only way! Modesty isn’t only focused on what we wear but it’s also how we act in a way that’s unassumingly polite, kind and humble. The point I'm trying to make is that the definition of modesty is fluid and is personal to each girl who chooses to embrace it. And that's the beauty of it.
AA: Why did you decide to work with Abaya Addict on this project?
Merj: When I was given the opportunity to work with Abaya Addict, I couldn’t help but feel extremely blessed, Alhamdulillah. Abaya Addict embodies everything a modern Muslim woman looks for in her wardrobe. AA provides modesty yet stylish, sophisticated yet playful, classic yet trendy look, each and every day. When I wear Abaya Addict whether to school, work or an event, I feel empowered. And my hope is that every Muslim girl gets to feel this way through Abaya Addict.
AA: What can we expect to see from you up ahead?
Merj: My plans for the future are still being written. InshAllah I plan to finish nursing school. And after that, wherever this ride of life takes me, whatever be the situation. I’m going to have a smile on my face InshAllah because I trust Allah’s plan for me and for each and every one of us.